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Shetland windfarm - Viking Energy


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so VE's windmill blades from approx 9-10 miles away are going to look approx the size of a jet passing overhead

 

We are not talking about an isolated windfarm stuck in the middle of Highland Scotland where it could easily be 10 miles from the nearest habitation, ie out of sight out of mind.....

 

This happens to be in the middle of Shetland. 10 miles in any direction from the proposed site covers a huge chunk of the Island, and thats 160 jumbo jets, plus towers.

Don't forget Folk in Aith , Vidlin, Weisdale, Voe, Nesting etc are going to be a mile or so from these things. A drive up the north road will put you within a few hundred yards. What does a jumbo jet stuck on a 90m post look like at 500m????-

Maybe Petrocelli could enlighten us. :wink:

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Perhaps a more important question, which I can not seem to find an answer for on the VE website, is how much wind can these turbines withstand?

 

The ones at Burradale appear to have withstood the "best wind in the world" OK. However, that is not to say that a larger design will behave the same way, but presumably the manufacturers have built them a little bit stronger than they need to be... let's hope so!

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A drive up the north road will put you within a few hundred yards. What does a jumbo jet stuck on a 90m post look like at 500m????-

Maybe Petrocelli could enlighten us. :wink:

 

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/Twerto/radiomastjumbo.jpg

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Digging (or pumping) the carbon out of the ground where it has been safely locked away for millions of years is the problem.

 

Yet you are all for the destruction of the peatbogs?

 

I thought I had answered this particular point in previous posts... Yes I have, here you go...

When Sullom Voe was built, several hundred thousand tonnes of peat were excavated from the hill on Calbeck Ness and dumped into Orca Voe. This peat was not destroyed! It has been replanted and is now a healthy heathland, just as it was before it was dug up.

 

Ok, I'll put it this way, lets say we don't build the windfarm. That leaves the peat on the hills undisturbed. The predicted, extreme, rainfall happens and the hills come tumbling down.

 

Or, we do build the windfarm, the predicted, extreme, rainfall happens but it isn't quite as extreme as it would have been and the excessive run-off is directed into the ditches and drains in the hill put in when the windfarm was built..... You see where I'm going with this.

 

Of course this wouldn't protect the 90% of the landscape which won't have a windfarm on it, but the revenue from the windfarm could be invested in similar landslip prevention measures for the rest of Shetland.

 

What has been the biggest environmental catastrophe in Shetland in recent years? The landslides at the South End. What caused them? An extreme rainfall event. What is the first predicted effect of Global Warming? More extreme weather events. How many wind generators were there in the area? None.

 

That mess at the South Mainland is just a small taste of what we have to expect from Global Warming. That sort of thing will soon be an annual event all over Shetland and will continue until there is no peat moor on the sides or tops of the hills in Shetland.

 

As for the emissions from the Peat, if you pick up a ton of peat and move it somewhere else, yes, you will release a few kilo's of CO2, but you would have to actually burn it to turn the ton of carbon that the peat is made from into the 3 tons of CO2 which could potentially be released. As I've said before, the peat will not magically evaporate into CO2. A few kilo's, maybe a few tens of kilo's will be released but I doubt it would total as much as 100 kilo's.

 

And as I've also said before, you have to count the degradation of the peat which will be caused by the more severe effects of climate change that will be a consequence of doing nothing.

 

Are you aware of the certain devastation that will be caused by Global Warming if we do nothing? This assumption that, if we don't build the windfarm, everything will carry on as if nothing was happening is really starting to annoy me. The world is facing a crises which dwarf's anything since WW2 and the effects will be global (global, by the way, includes Shetland). We have to act.

 

I'm not saying that the windfarm, on it's own, will prevent Global Warming, but every community in the developed world has a moral duty to fix the mess we've made of this planet. Given the stupendous benefits Shetland has accrued from the Oil industry (the cause of Global Warming), the windfarm is the least we can do.

 

Building the windfarm will disturb large areas of peat, releasing it's stored carbon into the atmosphere:

This objection is based on a flawed assumption, namely that not building the windfarm means the peat will stay where it is and continue growing for the foreseeable future. There is strong evidence to suggest that global warming itself will destabilise the peat and begin the process of decay

The world’s peat bogs are hemorrhaging carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, accelerating global warming, warns a UK researcher.

 

And worse still, the process appears to be feeding off itself, as rising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide are triggering further releases from the bogs.

 

The above quote is from a post by Twerto on page 34 of this debate.

 

The case against the windfarm :

 

It will disturb some peat. - I went down to the Historic Scotland free entry day at Jarlshof the other weekend. On the way we passed the devastation caused by the landslides in the South Mainland a few years ago. This was not an isolated freak event. It is the norm we can expect to see every couple of years as the world heats up and the weather gets more extreme. Global warming does not just mean things will get warmer, rather it is like putting a lid on an already simmering pan of water. It begins to boil. What was once regarded as a freak weather event will happen more and more often until all the peat currently on the tops and sides of the hills will slip into the valley's (Where it will meet the rising sea. Where will you hide?)

 

I apologise for the above quotes being a little disjointed, but they were taken from a dozen or more posts in reverse order as I worked back through the pages of this debate.

 

The point is, due to climate change the environment of Shetland will change anyway. By building the windfarm we will, in a small way, contribute to the mitigation of the worst effects of global warming. The CO2 emissions from the building of the windfarm will be dwarfed by the CO2 savings from burning less coal. And, finally, the actual amount of peat which will be affected has been massively exaggerated by the opponents of the windfarm, who don't seem to understand the first thing about global warming, or seem to think climate change is going to pass Shetland by without affecting us in any way. I believe this is totally wrong.

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When we're about to start the last week of March, and the temperature has never risen above freezing, and the windchill has hovered around -9C for the last 24 hours, taking, and talking about Global Warming seriously doen't come easy. In fact from where some of us are sitting right now, we might even be tempted to say any sort of warming is not necessarily a bad thing. :?

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Agreed it's cold, but remember, average "global temperature goes up" does not mean "shetland gets warmer".

 

Predictions for the next 50 years or so are generally agreed on Shetland being a bit warmer, a bit wetter, a bit windier and the stronger storms becoming a bit more frequent. Depending on the individual weather that could mean just about anything day to day, but would suggest "wind and rain" winters with the occasional surprise.

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As for the emissions from the Peat, if you pick up a ton of peat and move it somewhere else, yes, you will release a few kilo's of CO2, but you would have to actually burn it to turn the ton of carbon that the peat is made from into the 3 tons of CO2 which could potentially be released. As I've said before, the peat will not magically evaporate into CO2. A few kilo's, maybe a few tens of kilo's will be released but I doubt it would total as much as 100 kilo's.

 

Actually it is over 200kg. And you don't need to burn the peat, just disturb it, dry it out a little and oxidation begins. All the access tracks, turbine sites, borrow pits and ditches will destroy a fair area of peat, and there will be a wider zone which is also affected. I don't know how large the affected area will be, or how deep the peat is, but VE will no doubt let us know what their peat expert reports. Also, don't forget that these peatbogs are busy locking up CO2, although less than 100 grammes per square metre each year.

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The VE proposal will affect a small area in the NE corner of the Mainland, climate change will affect all the peat in the world.

 

I'm not sure where to go with this comment, but feel obliged to reiterate that the VE scheme starts above Weisdale and works it's way north and northeast from there. I can't find any definition of "small" and "NE" that encompasses this area, whether in favour or not. To give the benefit of the doubt, perhaps not everyone saw the maps when originally produced.

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The VE proposal will affect a small area in the NE corner of the Mainland, climate change will affect all the peat in the world.

 

I'm not sure where to go with this comment, but feel obliged to reiterate that the VE scheme starts above Weisdale and works it's way north and northeast from there. I can't find any definition of "small" and "NE" that encompasses this area, whether in favour or not. To give the benefit of the doubt, perhaps not everyone saw the maps when originally produced.

 

Maybe some clarification is needed here. In the above post I was referring, specifically, to the actual ground area in terms of peat disturbance from the foundations of the turbines and the associated roads and comparing it to the total area of peatland in the world. Not to the general area of the windfarm in it's totality.

 

Anyway, if you are going to pull me up for exaggeration, you could maybe look again at some of the "Windfarm will totally destroy all of Shetland" posts that have been so prevalent in this debate. It works both ways you know. :wink:

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A ha! So you admit exaggerating then! :P

But seriously, i wasn't sure if you were under that impression or not. From my experience a substantial body of people in the two major townships of the central mainland view the proposed scheme as 'north' and "will not affect me", which seems slightly blinkered, all things considered. More "it's nimby" than just "nimby".

 

You could,of course, (and probably will) say that anyone fighting against the scheme is blinkered and no doubt some of them are, but to be flippant about it; if predictions are correct then this particular scheme is less than a single stitch on an amputation in terms of net effect on climate, so it is equally important to ensure that if a local energy production scheme goes ahead it is done in a way that minimises local impact. If that means re-structuring the whole plan then that would be the right thing to do. In my humble opinion. :wink:

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